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Cansei de Ser Sexy play Webster Hall again tonight with Ssion. Tickets are still available here.
photos by Rebecca Smeyne
Cansei de Ser Sexy
Wednesday, December 17
Lovefoxxx isn’t a very good dancer. The bodysuit-filling frontfoxxx of Cansei de ser Sexy looked fatigued last night, like she’s tired of her limited cache of tunes. Clad in a black leotard with hypnotic, white markings, she swayed, sashayed and mimed wantonly through sorta-fun hoedowns from the two CSS records. Maybe she’s frustrated at the blasé response to her more serious work–only the mean synth-grind of “Let’s Reggae All Night” and the hiccupping “Move,” the two funkiest cuts from this year’s slept-on Donkey, moved the crowd as much as the old stuff. Or maybe she really is tired of being sexy.
Opening with the rockier “Jager Yoga,” which has a faintly credible Sleater-Kinney edge, the six-piece fumbled for a big crowd-rousing hook or catchphrase but came up empty–no “Music is My Hot, Hot Sex” this year. Despite the presence of a blonde, bra-and-pantyhose-clad dancer-cum-hypewoman, the Urban Outfitters-shopping audience only became distracted enough from their own texting during the third song (and first old one) “This Month, Day 10”–also the band’s best. Last night’s take was ferocious, the bobbing bass and galloping rhythm speeding up into a Pylon-esque frenzy. And so it went: pretty good new-wave rockers mostly from Donkey fell on bored ears (even the great “Rat is Dead [Rage]”) while the eponymous debut’s cheaper Casio jams roused inert feet. It’s not hard to see that the dance stuff varies more, from the chintzy-cute “Alcohol” (“Hey hey hey hey hey hey hey hey/ Do you wanna drink some alcohol?”) to the deep-bass “Alala” (“A la la, a la la/Gimme three wishes/I wanna be that dirty finger and his six bitches,” a tune with nods to Peaches and Kraftwerk), while the tighter guitar tunes maintained a thick block-chord density neither intense or swift enough to qualify for even light punk.
Lovefoxxx herself is an arresting hoot onstage. She’s like a Bjork that fell for Le Tigre rather than Radiohead, with her diminutive figure in colorful headdress and propensity for cute broken English (“Thank you for the dance!”). She joked about a dance contest to win “an internship at the L Magazine” (that, alas, never took place) and swooshed around with a what-me-sexy? air. She ignored various tight-teed and pouty crowdmembers who bum-rushed the stage as the enthusiasm picked up who amusingly kept shaking their booties as Webster Hall security carted them off. This provided cognitive dissonance during the “Alala” finale when several pre-picked “stage-rushers” danced around the band and the real jumpers were still carried away. That wasn’t much fun. Maybe Lovefoxxx was jealous of their steps?